I recently read a post where someone was talking about how when we discuss our haters, we are only seeking external validation and that haters are part of what makes the world so colorful and exciting. After all, why would we ever want a world where everyone agrees?
His comment made me pause and I reflected on my own posts where I have talked about how I have felt, at times, attacked. In complete transparency, I am sure there was a part of me that was looking for comfort, but mostly what was truly driving me was to open the conversation about how we attack each other behind computer screens and the impact this can have.
I also feel like there is a really big difference between disagreeing with somebody and hating on them. Attacking them and calling them names is not the same as sharing your perspective.
All the time at The Institute for the Psychology of Eating we have people who disagree with us. I often engage with them. I am interested to know why. I want to explore why they think so completely differently than me. I’m not opposed to people disagreeing with me – not at all, but that feels super different than so much of what I see, which I feel is most accurately described as bullying.
And I don’t think bullying makes the world colorful. Not at all. In fact. I think it strips the world of it’s color, generating fear instead of encouraging our unique creativity.
And when we shame people for sharing about what’s challenging for them by saying it is simply a cry for validation, we inevitably miss the the meaning in their message.
It seems more ‘social media acceptable’ to make statements ringing with positivity, and post pictures of our glee rather than share something like “Hey, that hurt me”
And while I love seeing celebratory snapshots of my friends lives and while I too post lots of quotes dripping with positive possibility,
I hope we don’t make attacking each other ok by saying it makes the world more interesting and colorful. And I hope we don’t dismiss someone’s sharing as a cry for validation – because we very rarely know someone’s motivation.
I have been in situations where someone’s sharing was literally their final plea
Their last cry for help
Before they said, “No one gets me”
And left you and me
❤ Emily Joy Rosen